Back to Volume
Paper: The Alphabet and the Sky
Volume: 441, The Inspiration of Astronomical Phenomena VI
Page: 317
Authors: Lebeuf, A.
Abstract: Since the beginning of the 17th century the letters of the Greek alphabet are used to identify the stars of constellation by order of magnitude. This was simply a practical means of astronomical classification. In several instances the Bible uses such metaphors as “The sky rolled up like a scroll”. The idea of associating letters of different alphabets with stars, constellations and the sky in general can be found to day in the marginal subculture. The persistence of such an association of writing with astronomy or cosmology is at least of interest for cultural reasons, but the problem might be of good interest as well for the history of astronomy and cosmology. I present here two examples of this tradition in works of art. The first a painted representation of the Revelation of Saint John in the Orthodox church tradition, and the other in the construction of the late bronze age sacred well at Santa Cristina in Sardinia, Italy.
Back to Volume